PolarTREC Orientation 2020

PolarTREC teacher David Walker in the Arctic.

The 2020 PolarTREC Orientation is just a few weeks away! We are excited to host the new group of educators and PolarTREC alumni. The orientation will be held at the University of Colorado’s East Campus in Boulder, Colorado, at the university’s Sustainability, Energy and Environment Community (SEEC). The orientation will be a 5-day event, Monday - Friday, 16-20 March 2020. If you are interested in seeing what we cover and/or in the area and would like to join us, please check out the details here. Contact us at info [at] polartrec.com for more information.

Expedition Timeline

Use the interactive timeline below to explore with the new cohort of educators and researchers!

2019 Expedition Timeline

Latest Journals

20 February 2020 Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

By: Sarah Slack
Maps showing satellite imagery of the area around Thwaites and Pine Island Glaciers
Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes There are many challenges that present themselves when scientists are thinking about exploring Thwaites - both when you study the glacier from the land-side and when you approach the glacier from the water. No matter which way you come at it, it's Antarctica. It is cold. It is…

18 February 2020 Seals Part III - The Weddells

By: Sarah Slack
A fluffy Weddell seal pup lays on the sea ice
Seals Part III - The Weddells The Weddell seals we encountered on our seal-tagging expedition were smaller, longer-haired, and far cuter than the southern elephant seals. Two of these characteristics allow for different methods to be used during tagging, one just makes the Weddell seal more…

17 February 2020 With a Little Help From the Seals II

By: Sarah Slack
Two male elephant seals on Edwards Island #4, Antarctica
With a Little Help From the Seals Part II It isn't easy to restrain a southern elephant seal. They are by far the largest carnivore on the planet - males are more than six times bigger than a polar bear and 2.5 times bigger than a male walrus. Females max out at somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000…

15 February 2020 With a Little Help from the Seals

By: Sarah Slack
Male elephant seal, photo credit: Linna Neidel, ASC
With a Little Help from the Seals While the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project is focused on seafloor mapping at the edge of the glacier, there are seven other teams of scientists exploring every aspect of the ocean, ice, and climate shifts that will help build a comprehensive picture of…

14 February 2020 Happy Valentine's Day

By: Sarah Slack
Grad student Santi Muneval cuts a piece of Valentine's Day cake
Our amazing cooks made us this great big cake for Valentine's Day. Santi Munevar cuts a piece of the Valentine's Day cake made by the cooks on the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker

14 February 2020 Glaciers 101

By: Sarah Slack
Find activities about glaciers and ice on the Science Friday "Science That's as Cool as Ice" website
Glaciers 101 I am down here as a participant in the Thwaites Offshore Research, or THOR, project. THOR scientists are investigating drivers of glacier, ocean, and climate change using information recorded in sediments deposited on the seafloor by the Thwaites Glacier over the last several thousand…

PolarTREC Updates


What is PolarTREC?

STEM at the Poles! Research Experiences for Formal and Informal Educators in the Polar Regions is the newest iteration of PolarTREC. The educators (formal and informal) come from the United States and spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the Arctic or Antarctica, working side by side with scientists. STEM at the Poles is professional development for educators across all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines connecting them to the polar regions and the research community; developing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) resources; and changing how they teach STEM in both informal and formal learning environments. PolarTREC is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation and administered by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS).

Image: The 2019 PolarTREC Cohort and project management team pose for a photo outside the Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus during orientation week.

Find people, expeditions, and resources

PolarTREC has hosted 193 expeditions and houses over 2,000 resources for educational use.

Locate Team Members

Check out our member directory to locate a team member from a current or previous PolarTREC expedition.

Follow Expeditions

All current and past expeditiions are listed in reverse chronological order for viewing.

Find Resources

Lesson plans, activities, articles, web links and more can be found in our resources section.